July 29, 2015
By Neal Tepel, LaborPress Editorial
New York, NY – The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) is failing its more than 400,000 residents when it comes to repairing apartments and getting vacant units back on the market.
Audits released this summer by New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer found that although there are more than 270,000 New Yorkers on NYCHA’s waitlist, units are kept vacant for an average of 2,605 days when they undergo repairs. Eighty apartments have been left empty for over a decade! A separate audit examined residents’ requests for repairs and found more than 55,000 backlogged requests and thousands of work orders that were closed without any fixes actually being done.
It’s clear that NYCHA is broken, and to help fix it Comptroller Stringer has proposed a four-point reform package. This plan includes NYCHAStat, a new website to track all open work orders by development, bringing new accountability to NYCHA and it’s repair process. The comptrollers recommendations for budget reforms and repair accountability would increase transparency. We agree with Comptroller Stringer that a description of each building’s major repairs needs to be fully public as well as regular timely reports on the completion status. We also encourage the Mayors office to be more involved in the resolution of NYCHA issues.
Comptroller Stringer has taken a lead in pointing out issues and recommending solutions for New Yorkers. His reports and audits provide critical information necssary to improve this great city.